Or so claims the Lincoln Journal Star, anyway. I was going to step through the argument one point at a time to see if I could address them, but I never really found an argument to address. In fact, of all the statements made, I found more against testing than I did for it. A summary of quotes taken directly from the entry:
Arguments Against Testing:
- Approval of the bill would mean a huge change in home schooling laws in Nebraska.
- It sets up a system of state intervention.
- The dramatic change in the status quo seems unnecessarily onerous.
- The bill would even require that parents pay for the state testing.
Arguments For Testing:
- As Schimek says, there is little evidence on how well children are being educated in home schools.
Am I wrong in saying that once you take out the filler information and focus solely on the case being built, that there really is nothing persuasive about the need for testing? One statement supports testing. One made by the author of the bill, who also happens to be the wife of the Nebraska State Education Association’s government relations person. After twenty years serving in the Nebraska legislature, I do not think it is inconsequential that this bill comes up in her final year of office before term limits force her retirement.
After 315 words which serve only to provide a summary of the LB 1141, a brief history of Nebraska’s negative history regarding homeschool liberties and offering no convincing evidence of the need for testing, the LJS offers a compromise.
A more reasonable approach would be to establish a simple requirement of annual testing and leave it at that. The test results could provide some benefit to students and parents by identifying problems that need to be addressed. The tests could offer some assurance to the rest of society that no home school students are slipping through the cracks.
I’m sorry, but I remain unconvinced. No need for annual testing has been established. Schimek’s assertion is not much of an argument. And what evidence does exist points to homeschooling as an excellent educational alternative. The test results are not going to provide me with any information I do not already know. I assess my children regularly. Sometimes even formally. I do not need the state’s assistance to identify my children’s strengths and weakness.
And why do I need to assure “society” of anything if I have done nothing to arouse suspicion? Schimek has the “distinct impression” that there is “nothing about her bill that [we] are willing to accept.” At least she has that much right.
This bill represents a drastic overstepping of the state’s boundaries, with no promise of real benefit to anyone while it infringes upon the rights of families who have done nothing to even arouse suspicion. I feel no need to compromise on this one. Current law is satisfactory to serve the purposes intended.
Testing homeschool students does not have merit.
For more information on LB 1141, you can click on the category LB 1141 and find everything I have written so far.
[tags]homeschool, home school, LB 1141, Schimek[/tags]